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Conference Papers Year : 2005

Voronoi Growth Model of Sheet Nacre.


The aim of this work was to study the tiling mode of nacre tablets in the 'brick and mortar' array of sheet nacre. For that purpose, incipient shell nacre (Pinctada margaritifera) was analysed by electron microscopy (SEM) and Raman spectroscopy. Experimental observations pointed out the key role of the stairs-like growing front in sheet-like nacre not only for its long range ordering but also as controlling the hierarchy of local mechanisms. A morphogenesis sequence is proposed taking into account the dynamics of the environment. First, the mantel cells are organised to synthesise and discharge alternatively the extrapallial fluid as batches. Because of the stairs-like feature of the growth front, the extrapallial fluid organizes as successive 'biological films', each of them delayed from the underlying one by 10 to 15µm. Each film is a compartment to prefigure a nacre layer. Then, after individualisation, this film undergoes nucleation and crystallisation of tablets. Finally, the biological film transforms progressively as mature nacre following self assembly mechanisms. The resulting tablets have a shape which responds to a Voronoi growth model, this is shown for the first time: aggregation at the same speed in all directions around single growth centers. This is an efficient model to understand the growth mechanism and rationalise all the experimental observations we have obtained.
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Dates and versions

hal-00092028 , version 1 (08-09-2006)


  • HAL Id : hal-00092028 , version 1


Marthe Rousseau, Evelyne Lopez, Alain Couté, Gérard Mascarel, David C. Smith, et al.. Voronoi Growth Model of Sheet Nacre.. 9th International Symposium on Biomineralization, Dec 2005, Pucón, Chile. 7p. ⟨hal-00092028⟩
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